Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The year 2009 and Facebook

A couple of years ago, the Big Thing in the social networking and media world was My Space. It was huge. Everyone who wanted to have a presence was going to MySpace. It was THE place for teenagers and indie bands to go and have a presence. You had to be there if you wanted to be anyone. It was so large that Rupert Murdoch dropped 580 Million Dollars to buy it. It was going to gives News Corp a huge presence with young people.

That was part of the good news, and then the bad news began to follow. It became a place where cyberbullying was the norm and a place where sexual predators would hang out and go trolling for little kids. Part of that was due to the fact that young people were posting everything about themselves online.

While MySpace is still popular and growing, in fact according to the Wikipedia article, it was still attracting hundreds of thousands of people a day, at least during 2006, I have to believe it's slowed a bit.

There has been other problems; in the September 2006 issue of PC World, MySpace was considered the worst websitein the Internet. It was considered to be full of spyware and that it got compromised by phishers. So the lustre came off that rose. But like I said, it is still there and still making a presence.

Now let's forward to 2009. I have a facebook account. Over the last few things, Facebook was the big thing. In fact, Toronto was declared "the Capital of Facebook". You had to have an account and if you didn't people gladly sent you them. How many emails were links or invites to join facebook.

To be honest, Facebook has a lot of good points, it is a way to keep in touch with family and friends. You can meet people you haven't seen for years. There are groups of interests you can join. There are also games and quizzes a person can play and have a good time. You can post photographs to share with family and friends. It's an all in one place, where you can send messages through walls and then through emails.

Now, let's consider 2009, after two years of positive spin and hype, there are some cracks appearing in the wall. The uproar started when Facebook attempted to change its Terms of Service agreement. According to the new TOS, Facebook owned all your material. You can read it here. Here is the Big Issue:
You may remove your User Content from the Site at any time. If you choose to remove your User Content, the licence granted above will automatically expire, however you acknowledge that the Company may retain archived copies of your User Content. Facebook does not assert any ownership over your User Content; rather, as between us and you, subject to the rights granted to us in these Terms, you retain full ownership of all of your User Content and any intellectual property rights or other proprietary rights associated with your User Content.

When people who read TOS say the change, it was the red flag before the bull. There was a huge uproar over the change. There were so many complaints that Mark Zuckerberger had to pretty well apologize and promise never to do that again, unless they have the input of the users of the site. It was hailed as a victory for users and democracy. Then again, if you can remember last year when Facebook changed the Home Page, that caused an uproar.

Now the bad news is coming strong, a teen is suing facebook over the issue of cyberbullying. Now there are issues of security. Also a koobface worm is making its rounds. You open a link to a video and you fill your computer with malware. Wonderful when you think about it.

Again, more bad news. Now I suppose the hype is now towards Twitter. It is attracting all the attention, just listen to anything by Leo Laporte and the TWIT Network. Also it's attracting celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher. There's also Stephen Fry who may have the most number of followers of all twitterers.

So I guess is, when will the negative stories about Twitter start to surface? When will read of the security problems of Twitter. Oops, they have already started.

By the way, you can add me to your twitter followers, I'm here.

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